Too Much Kale? No Such Thing

Today, we ordered more varieties of kale seeds for the greens beds. Kale is big in our gardens. From Seeds from Italy, we ordered Franchi brand ‘Cavolo Nero aka Lacinato’ and ‘Galega de Folhas Lisas’ kales. Cavolo Nero is a super curly, very dark green kale. Galega is the more common, wide-leaf, grass-green variety of kale. Both should be harvested when young: they get tough and bitter the longer they stay in the ground.

We also ordered a large pack of I Girasoli giant sunflower mix, a gorgeous variety that blooms in shades of bright yellow, orange, rust, and red. They’re heavy seed producers, which I love. Birds and squirrels get plenty of autumn fuel, and we get some for seed saving. I’m dreaming of lots of sunflowers this summer.
We moved some plants outdoors for the season: the Thai Black Stem banana that we started from seed last autumn, which is now about two feet tall; the elder Basjoo banana (the two young ones are still under grow lights), also two feet tall; the Mexican lime tree (which has mealybugs again, and has been soaked in Neem oil); our pineapple plant, which we propagated from our last pineapple plant; and even a pot of basil we started from seed a while ago. All are doing well, even with nights in the 40s.
Mealybugs are bogus. They damage and drain a plant of its life force, and they’re difficult to get rid of. They kill by inserting their sharp mouth parts into a plant’s juicy stem, then sucking away its water and nutrients. The plant dies slowly.
They also lay egg sacs on the plant, with each sac holding many eggs. They leave a nasty, sticky residue on the plant’s stems and leaves. Have you ever seen an enlarged photo of a mealybug? They look like little versions of the devil.
My husband tilled the food garden beds last weekend. In two weeks, he’ll till again, the soil will rest for a week, and then we’re ready to plant. We have a lot of compost to add to the soil for the second tilling.
We ate so many fruits and veggies this winter, and the skins and seeds of it all went into the compost pile. Mother Nature is awesome: she gives us healthy, delicious food to eat, then provides scraps that become more food. It’s a miraculous, perfect cycle. Never fails to amaze me.
Live in peace.

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